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This division proved to be a temporary arrangement, but it set the scene for conflict between France and Germany over Lotharingia which was to last many years.

Lotharingia was in effect integrated into the East Frankish kingdom (Germany) after the death in 900 of Zwentibold, last independent king of Lotharingia, but this was challenged by Charles III "le Simple" King of the West Franks.

The kingdom was divided between the sons of Emperor Lothaire after he abdicated in 855, the territory called Lotharingia then being restricted to present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Germany west of the Rhine, the French provinces of Alsace, Lorraine, and Switzerland.

At the outset, it is more accurate to describe the new rulers as "associate" dukes who governed under the central authority of Bruno Duke of Lotharingia (brother of the German king and also archbishop of Kln).

In common with most administrative arrangements concerning Lotharingia, the division between the Upper and Lower duchies was artificial and poorly reflected natural, geographic, national and linguistic boundaries, although Upper Lotharingia corresponded roughly to the ecclesiastical province of Trier and Lower Lotharingia to the archbishopric of Kln.

The conclusion that a particular count "ruled" a particular county is based in many cases on a single phrase in a contemporary charter which asserts that a specific property was located (for example) "in pago Blesinsi in comitatu Odacri comitis", in accordance with the generally used formulation.

However, this description does not guarantee that (in this case) Comte Odacre ruled in all parts of "pagus Blesensis".

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